Every morning, the second after I wake up, I feel around in the dark for my phone.
“Where the hell is it?” I ask myself. “Did I leave it on the chair? The floor?” I start to get panicky if I can’t find it within 30 seconds. “Did one of the dogs chew it up? Is my phone — my whole life — gone forever?”
It’s usually under my pillow or wrapped up in the covers since I always fall asleep looking at it.
Once I’ve found it, I immediately check my notifications. Then I hop over to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, and even LinkedIn if I’m bored enough. And I keep doing that — all day long.
I don’t think there’s a waking hour when I’m not holding the damn phone in my hand.
It’s very apparent I have a problem here. I think one main reason I’m on social media so much (especially Facebook), is because most of my family lives thousands of miles away. I don’t have a single relative in a 350-mile radius — and even then, that’s a second cousin. I want my mom to know I’m doing well; that’s really important to me. Even more so, I want to know that she’s doing well.
So I’ve decided to do an experiment. I’m going to give up social media — at least for a month, starting tomorrow. I was going to wait until August 1, but there’s no real reason to wait. It’s not a novel idea or anything, I’m aware of that. But it’s going to be a challenge nonetheless.
Here are my self-imposed rules/guidelines:
- Delete the Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, Pinterest, Snapchat, and LinkedIn apps from my phone.
- Emails and texting are permissible.
- Install Google Chrome plugins (such as StayFocusd) to keep me from looking at social media on my computer.
And here are some self-imposed goals:
- Read at least one book per week. More are preferable.
- Create something besides writing (painting, embroidery, crafts, sewing, etc.) at least twice a week. More is preferable.
- Go on a day trip or two with my husband to places we haven’t been before.
Additionally, I’m going to make a conscious effort to not replace my addiction with another one, too. I won’t stuff my face full of Oreos when I’m bored. I won’t download any games from the app store, or watch TV to fill up the time. Instead, I’ll read more. I’ll jot down daily notes in a real physical journal. I’ll talk to people face-to-face more. I’ll sew things. I’ll get out of the house and go to coffee shops and parks and try things I’ve never done before.
I don’t want my life to revolve around my phone, or social media, or Twitter trolls.
It’ll be an experience.